May 10th
 

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Tuesday, May 10th, 2022              

Drew, Jayden, and I went to Disney World today with Grandma Terry, Aunt Erica, and Uncle Steven. Although the primary purpose of our trip was to go to Epcot for the passholder preview of the new Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind roller coaster, we decided to start out day at Disney's Animal Kingdom, as the kids are not huge fans of spending a full day at Epcot.

We arrived at Disney's Animal Kingdom around 10:00am, and headed in to get our new group signed up for Steve's Disability Access Service (DAS) pass. We elected to use it first on Avatar Flight of Passage, but the return time provided meant that we had some time to use before we could get on. We opted to head off to Africa to ride the Kilimanjaro Safaris. We got to see a lot of animals on this ride, though not as many as some of our safaris in the past. Even so, it was still a nice ride through Africa.

After our safari we decided that it was time to eat the lunches that we had packed for ourselves. We found a table outside of the Tusker House Restaurant/Dawa Bar area and settled in to eat.

Once we had had enough to eat, we made our way to Pandora - The World of Avatar so that we could take our turn on Avatar Flight of Passage. Everyone except Aunt Erica, who opted to sit this one out, that is. As always, we enjoyed our ride on the banshee's with the Na'vi.

We had intended to get on one more ride, but there was some miscommunication about whether or not to make the reservation, and unfortunately we did not. The timing of the wait for DINOSAUR (our preferred next ride) and the fact that we would need to drive to Epcot put us perilously close to missing our slot at Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind so we decided not wait it out, and instead opted to make our way to the front of the park to head out.

We did see something new on the way out... Divine, a character that is all leaves and blends in with the plant life at the front of the park. Apparently she has been in the parks since the beginning, but this is the first time that we have ever been blessed to see her!

Well, although we had fun, it was time to head to our next destination!

 

Disney's Animal Kingdom


 

The Tree of Life as seen from Discovery Island as we made our way into Disney's Animal Kingdom.

 
 

A squirrel playing in the tree, and eating the flowers, while we waited for Steve's Disability Access Service (DAS) pass.

 
 

A rare sighting - a picture of Rodney!

 
 

An okapi that we saw on Kilimanjaro Safaris.

 
 

Speaking of are time on the Kilimanjaro Safaris, we also saw several other animals, including this Bongo laying in the brush...

 
 

...and this one feeding on the leaves.

 
 

We also saw some other amazing animals, like this black rhinoceros...

 
 

 

 
 

...and these greater kudus...

 
     
 

...and some saddle-billed storks...

 
 

...and a few hippos...

 
 

...as well as these Nile crocodiles...

 
     
 

...and although they were hard to see, the painted dogs were out relaxing in the shade...

 
 

...as were these sable antelopes...

 
 

...while the Masai giraffes were out in abundance...

 
     
 

...even hanging out with...

 
 

...the Grant's zebras in some cases...

 
     
     
     
     
     
 

...we have got to see this little bunny rabbit along the roadway...

 
 

...as well as a couple of African elephants...

 
     
 

...and a whole flamboyance of greater flamingos...

 
     
     
 

...as well as a bunch of white rhinos.

 
     
     
 

The cheetahs were all lounging in the grass as we rode past...

 
 

...and this sable antelope was lounging in the road...

 
 

...as a white rhino walked nearby.

 
     
 

The lions were lounging on the rocks...

 
     
 

...while the warthog lay nearby the rocks in its home.

 
 

An ostrich laying alongside the road.

 
 

Looks like the ranger is having fresh Nigerian dwarf goat for dinner!

 
 

A look at the Discovery River as we made the walk from Africa to Pandora - The World of Avatar.

 
 

We saw this creature for the first time as we left the park today.

 
 

After researching it, I discovered that this particular character is named DiVine.

 
 

Makes sense, right?

 

After making the drive from Disney's Animal Kingdom to Epcot, we made our way towards World Discovery, to find our spot in line for the passholder preview of the new Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind roller coaster. We didn't want to miss our opportunity to ride, as we were only given a thirty minute time window, and there was quite a long line already formed. I headed to the back of the line while the others browsed the Creations Shop to check out the souvenirs. The line actually moved very quickly, and I ended up at the front twenty minutes early! The others joined me, and we waited our turn while trying to figure out what we were supposed to do. There was a long line of people for the 3:00-3:30pm time slot, but the cast member working that area kept telling everyone that there was no line, and that we were just supposed to show up at 3:00 and they'd let us in. This didn't make sense to me, because that just meant that at 3:00 there would be a new long line of people, so why not just stay in the line we were already in. She seemed pretty adamant, as did I, and she must have finally had enough, because around 2:45pm she finally just said that we could go in. We scanned our MagicBands and made our way through the queue. The ride itself was quite interesting, and very tough to explain, but it was definitely enjoyable! In fact, Aunt Erica, who doesn't really like roller coasters that much, even wanted to ride it again. My only minor complaint was that the roller coaster ride itself didn't feel overly themed to the movies, but that is really not an issue to enjoying the whole experience.

Once we finished our turn on the Guardians ride, Drew, Jayden, Uncle Steven, and I made our way over to Mission: Space to give the intense Orange Mission a go. Although I enjoy the ride, I really wish that it could be updated somehow. It appears that others feel the same, as we were the only four people on our entire ride! That cannot be terribly cost effective!

We had intended to ride Test Track next, but we only barely got inside when an announcement was made about a "delay". We could hear the ride running, so we thought we'd wait it out. Unfortunately, the line never moved, so we finally made the decision to call it a day.

We made one last stop on the way home, at Chili's in Champions Gate for dinner. We enjoyed our meal and it was a filling ending to a great day spent together with family. Until next time!

 

Epcot


 

The Star Blaster used by the Xandarians on display outside of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind ride.

 
 

The back of the Star Blaster ship.

 
 

Some views of the ceiling inside of the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind queue...

 
     
     
 

A model of a typical Xandarian city seen inside of the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind queue.

 
 

A model of a Star Blaster ship...

 
 

...as well as a model of the Milano, the ship belonging to Peter Quill (aka Star-Lord).

 
 

A few scenes from the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind queue...

 
     
     
 

Jayden inside of the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind queue.

 
 

A few more scenes from the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind queue...

 
     
     
     
     
     
     
 

Outside of the Mission: SPACE ride was an appropriately placed Buzz Lightyear topiary, which was on display for the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival 2022.

 


 

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